Suriname’s Ambassador to the UN, Henry MacDonald (L), with Permanent Representative of Iceland to the United Nations, Ambassador Greta Gunnarsdottir
By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor
NEW YORK, USA -- After two years of preparation, on Wednesday Suriname and Iceland finally launched the United Nations Friends Group to promote the implementation of the Beijing Declaration globally. The ceremony and working lunch meeting was attended by the ambassadors of China, Argentina, Liberia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ireland, Grenada, Timor-Leste and various deputy chiefs of mission who also spoke at the event.
The representative of UN Women at the launching event presented a broad overview of the scheduled activities so far to be implemented during the year-long campaign.
The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women, is a United Nations entity working for the empowerment of women. On July 2, 2010, the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted resolution 64/289, which led to the creation UN Women.
The ceremony was opened by the permanent representative of Iceland to the United Nations, Ambassador Greta Gunnarsdottir, who briefly unveiled the purpose and the goals of the group. Suriname’s Ambassador to the UN, Henry MacDonald, introduced his idea of having a “Barbershop Conference” on violence against women later this year at the UN.
“This all male conference will be in line with a similar initiative that will be organized in India in the month of November 2014, with the aim of sensitizing males in joining the struggle to halt violence against women and girls once and for all,” said the Surinamese ambassador.
According to the two architects of the Friends Group, the UN campaign with the slogan: “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it,” which was launched in the Apollo Theater just five days ago, has now officially started and it will be up to the group to provide UN Women with the necessary impetus and support to reach the targets set for the coming year.
“Gender equality and the empowerment of women should become center stage in all development programs at the United Nation, regionally as well as domestically,” MacDonald said.
MacDonald praised the ambassador of China, who said that: "Full implementation of the Beijing Declaration will be beneficial to all of humanity."
The Surinamese Ambassador finally urged all his Facebook friends and Twitter followers to join him, other UN ambassadors and UN Women in spreading and advancing the mission since social media will be key in making a difference.